What Hull House in Chicago does as far has helping people in poverty, the homeless and so-forth, so they can get food, a place to stay, helping them get on their feet, represents exactly what we should be doing in the so-called War on Poverty in America, if you want to call it that. Helping people in poverty get on their feet, to become self-sufficient and can move to the middle class, but how they do it and by who is also important. Hull House is not a government program, not even a Chicago City government program. Or a Cook County government program, or Illinois state government program.
And especially not even a Federal Government program. This is a private poverty assistance program and are part of the non-profit community service sector. And represent how we should be fighting the War on Poverty in America. The main problem with Hull House is that it was heavily dependent on tax payer dollars to fund it’s operations. So to fund anti-poverty programs like this in the future, it should be done in a way where their funding is more diverse and make these programs self-financed. And you even do this by having their clients pay into them. Like working there and once they are on their feet.
And through money they get through public assistance, Unemployment or Welfare Insurance to cover their costs at one of these programs. Section 8, to cover their housing at a housing assistance center. Food Assistance to cover their, well if you guessed food, you would be correct. Medicaid to cover their health care, private donations, volunteers, having their clients do work there. As a country we need to rethink how we help people in poverty and move past a system where government runs most of it and just gives them money for the most part, but doesn’t do much to help them out of poverty. We need to get past the New Deal/Great Society era and move to an era where we empower the non-profit community service sector, to take a big lift in empower people in poverty to get out of poverty. And become self-sufficient and would like to transform all of our public assistance programs into private non-profit community services. That help people in need.
Amanda Forsythe: Jane Adams Founds Hull House in Chicago